C048065 COMMEMORATIVE GERMAN/FINNISH NORTH FRONT BADGE, 1941-1943. (Erinnerungs Medaille fŁr Deutsche/Finnischen Nordfront Abzeichen 1941-1943)

BACKGROUND: Finlandís history is believed to date back to the 9TH century when Finno-Ugric nomads from the central Ural region of Russia started to migrate to the region that is now know as Finland. Eventually the Finnís were conquered by Sweden and were suppressed under Swedish rule until the Napoleonic wars of the early 1800's. In 1808 in the Third Coalition War against the French and her allies, Russia invade Finland and expelled the Swedes. Surprisingly the Russian permitted Finland to adopt a constitution although it was under Russian control as a Grand Duchy with the Czar as its figurehead. With the outbreak of the Bolshevik Revolution on November 7TH 1917 and the ensuing discord in Russia, Finland saw her chance to gain total independence and declared herself an independent state on December 16TH 1917. As a result of Finlandís declaration of independence the Russianís attacked and in the ensuing Finnish War of Independence the Finnís requested military aid from Germany which helped the Finnís to drive the Russian out and Finland finally gained her total independence on May 7TH 1918. Finland was able to retain her independence undisturbed until a border dispute with Russia developed into the Winter War on 30TH November 1939. Although the Finnís were able to avoid being occupied by the Russians, large areas of territory were ceded to them and roughly ten percent of the Finnish population had to be relocated at the end of the War on March 12TH 1940. With the German invasion of Russia on June 22ND 1941 the pro-German Finn's allied themselves with Germany in what they termed the Continuation War, and as a result were able to retake all territory lost to the Russians in the Winter War and restore their previous border. German nationals that were eligible for Foreign awards were required to obtain the express approval of Adolf Hitler through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the only exception being that Foreign War decorations, including the Finnish awards, which did not require Hitlerís approval. The exact institution date and criteria for this award are uncertain but it is believed to be a commemorative badge for Finnish and German personnel who had participated in battle against the Soviets between 1941 and 1943. Of Note: Another almost identical award was also issued that contained different dates and locations. Also Of Note: On September 4TH 1944 the Finnish signed an armistice with the Russians and as a result German regulations of November 15TH 1944 prohibited wear of any Finnish awards by German nationals.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Die struck alloy construction badge with nickel/silver plated and multi-colored enamel finishes is in the form of a circular, white enameled, centerpiece with both the Finnish and German national flags, in blue and white and red, black and white enamel, respectively, positioned above the nickel/silver plated Finnish rampant lion, on a red enamel shield shaped base and interspersed with the nickel/silver plated text in both Finnish and German, "Pohjoisrintama-Die Nordfront", (The North Front), along with the dates, "1941-43", all encompassed by a nickel/silver plated, oak-leave wreath. The centerpiece is superimposed on a blue enamel Maltese style cross, which in turn is superimposed on a nickel/silver plated, short armed swastika with an embossed Finnish location on each arm consisting of, "Petsamo", "Salla", "Kiestinki" and "Uhtua". Double, screw-back plate complete. Attractive award in excellent condition.

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $419.00

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